Hawks are majestic creatures and are known as vicious aviary predators. Their steely eyes dart around in search of prey which includes smaller animals like chickens, rabbits, and sometimes even small dogs. Hawks are equipped with sharp talons that make it easier for them to snatch prey out of the blue.
They are fast and skillful raptors, and can also prove to be a menace for many farm owners. Once they set their eyes on a particular land full of prey, it’s pretty hard to get rid of them. Their skillful maneuverability in the air and the sheer agility of snatching prey can make it impossible to shoot them down (considering that’s an option).
Fortunately, there are certain methods to scare them away and make your property unfit for their hunting habits.
Protecting Birds from Hawks
Setting up a Natural Cover
A lot of people like to feed small exotic birds in their yard, such as doves, songbirds, etc. Hawks can often be a threat to such birds when they are feeding or nesting in your yard. You might not always be around to protect the birds yourself. Therefore, it’s recommended to provide your pet birds with emergency hiding spots.
In that sense, place the bird feeders next to dense shrubbery or bushes to enable them to flee, and take cover when necessary. The feeders shouldn’t be more than ten feet away from the bushes, so the birds can escape instantly when they spot a hawk.
Another neat trick is to provide them with bushes that consist of edible fruits and seeds. That way, the frightened birds won’t have to wait for the raptor to go away to feed again. They can easily rest and feed in the bushes.
Using Caged Feeders
As an alternative, you can buy a feeder specialized only for the smaller birds. These feeders are surrounded by a cage of steel with a small entry. This will enable the birds to feed without fear of being grabbed and hoisted in the air all of a sudden.
Avoid Ground Feeding
Also, avoid feeding birds like quails and doves on the ground. It makes it easier for the raptors to snatch their vulnerable prey when emergency covers are scarce. The birds are usually stunned in these situations and can escape their predator’s sight fast enough.
It is also unsafe to place bird feeders next to any windows as the scared birds might bump into the window while trying to escape. This will disorient them, and make it easier for the hawks than it already was.
Protecting Chickens from Hawks
People who own poultry farms may also be prone to the agile hunter’s menace. Hawks have been known to snatch chickens from farms when their common food source is depleting. Thankfully, there are several safety measures to prevent that from happening.
Chickens roaming around in the open field are an easy pick for the sharped eyed raptor. Hence, you should build a fortified shelter for your chickens engulfed with dense shrubs around its perimeter. This will enable the fowls to feed and roam around without being threatened by hawks.
Appoint Guard Dogs
Chickens are timid, vulnerable creatures and easy prey for the aviary hunter. To make sure they are protected even in your absence, appoint a couple of stout and sharp guard dogs. Larger dogs like German shepherds and hounds are masculine enough to intimidate the hawks.
However, make sure you trained the dogs so that they don’t eat the chickens, and also keeping them order. This will act as safeguard around your yard and keep the predator away.
Rooster can be a dominant fowl and often shows protective traits. Their protective mentality and defensive behavior usually make them a threat to hawks. Many roosters have a bizarre natural characteristic. They can sense nearby threats and try to keep chickens safe from bigger birds.
They will keep your fowls under constant supervision, and fend off those flying predators. But be sensible when picking the rooster because not all of them the protective trait.
Using Hawk Deterrents
If you’re looking for an efficient way to discourage hawks from raiding your backyard, there a few deterrents that can help. These will make your property look unsafe and unappealing to raptors.
Hawks are fast and are dangerous with their sharp talons, but just like any animal in the ecosystem, they also have predators. There are bigger birds like owls that the hawks consider a threat. You can buy owl statues and place them strategically in your yard.
You can even set up scarecrows, in the same manner, to act as a physical deterrent. Keep in mind to sporadically change the scarecrow’s position every day. After a few days, the hawks will be convinced of the existence of a predator. It will eventually stop frequenting your yard.
Visual and Audio Deterrents
There are various electronic devices out there which can mimic danger signs for the hawks. Auditory methods give off sounds which act as distress signals to fend off predator birds. The electronic mesh is also available in the market; you can place as a boundary for your chickens and birds.
This takes advantage of the hawk’s powerful sight, which makes it look impenetrable to them. Both of these deterrents can work together to prevent predator habitation from your property.
Hawks are very methodical when hunting. Before the raptors chose their prey, they perch on tree branches to scan the entire area. Their distinctive sight enables them to track prey skillfully. Depriving them of such vantage points can remove hawks from your land. If they can’t track prey, they can’t harm your pets.
Using the techniques mentioned above should surely keep your yard raptor-free. Hawks are intricate and stubborn hunters, so getting rid of them might not be an easy task. But using these tricks sensibly will help you outsmart such predators.
If you have tried all the methods, and the hawks are still pestering your animals, remove all bird feeders. Exterminate all rodents and reptiles in your yard, anything that the birds can feed on. The hawks will lose interest if you deprive them of their food source.
Once they give up on your area, you can set up the bird feeders again. The small birds will quickly flock back to your yard and feed without interruption.
Beware not to shoot or attempt to kill hawks. There are federal laws that prohibit the killing of such birds, and breaking the law might leave you with a fine. Try to utilize safet